839.00/2833: Telegram

The Commissioner in the Dominican Republic (Welles) to the Secretary of State

30. Since my return4 I have held various conferences with the Provisional President, the President-elect, the members of the Commission and the presidents of the Senate and House of Deputies. The constitutional reforms submitted to the Senate by the Provisional President will be approved by the Senate in the form presented tomorrow. They will be finally approved by the House of Deputies not later than May 21st. These reforms were agreed upon prior to my departure and are entirely satisfactory.

The President-elect advised me yesterday that the Cabinet appointments tentatively agreed upon with me April 11th will be definitely made. They are as follows: Enrique Jimenez, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Angel Morales, Minister of the Interior and Police; Juan B. Vicini Burgos, Minister of the Treasury; Andres Pastoriza, Minister of Fomento and Communication; Rafael Espaillat, Minister of Agriculture and Immigration. The positions of Minister of Justice and Public Instruction and Minister of Sanitation are to be filled by followers of Señor Velasquez. These have not yet been definitely determined. I cannot speak too highly of the quality of the men above mentioned selected by General Vasquez to form his Cabinet. Politics have been completely disregarded and he has selected the men of the greatest ability in the country whose capacity and integrity are recognized by all.

It is the intention of General Vasquez to go to the United States nominally for a vacation in the beginning of June. He will be accompanied by Señor Ariza whom he has selected as Dominican Minister [Page 627] at Washington and Señor Alfredo Ricart president of the Ayuntamiento of Santo Domingo. I have heartily encouraged this decision in order that he may in this manner obtain the opportunity of conversing with yourself and the President regarding the future policy of his Government as well as its relations with the Government of the United States. It is in particular the desire of General Vasquez to reach an agreement with the Department of State looking towards the refunding of the foreign debt of the Republic through the flotation of a loan in the United States. The satisfactory carrying out of this operation which of course by reason of the convention 19075 requires the consent of the Government of the United States would make it possible for the Dominican Government to obtain the use of a larger portion of the customs revenues for current expenses and at the same time obtain additional funds to be used in the carrying out of the complete program of public works. This operation in my opinion is essential if the Republic is really to progress. Futhermore it is the desire of General Vasquez to discuss the possibility of negotiating a new commercial treaty with the United States.

In this connection I desire to refer to my telegram of March 27, 3 p.m., and to the Department’s reply thereto of April 1, 5 p.m. I appreciate of course that under ordinary circumstances it is not desirable for the Government of the United States to invite the Presidents-elect of Latin American Republics to visit the United States before they assume office. The approaching evacuation of this Republic by the American Forces of [Occupation?] after eight years of Military Government and the installation of a Constitutional Government in the Dominican Republic friendly disposed to American interests create an exceptional case. Even if the Department does not desire to invite General Vasquez to be the guest of the nation during his brief stay in Washington, I trust that in view of these special circumstances the attempt will be made to accord him an official reception and to facilitate the accomplishment of the objective which he is seeking.

The situation here is in general entirely satisfactory. My information leads us to believe that the program of evacuation will be carried through speedily and without delay. I consider that it would be highly desirable for me to be in Washington during the time of General Vasquez’s visit there and for this reason I request your permission to return to Washington without delay. I am also exceedingly desirous of laying before you certain considerations of the utmost importance regarding conditions in Central America. I believe the situation in certain of the Central American countries [Page 628] to be exceedingly precarious and I desire to have the opportunity of suggesting important changes in our policy. In addition for personal reasons it is necessary for me to return to the United States without delay. In view of these considerations I hope that you will authorize me to return to Washington during the week.6

  1. From Honduras, to which country, on Apr. 8, the Commissioner had been instructed to proceed; see vol. ii, p. 300.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1907, pt. i, p. 307.
  3. The authorization requested was granted. Mr. Welles did not return to the Dominican Republic, and resigned as Commissioner July 13, 1925.